Finished my 5K this morning in 21 minutes - not as good as I wanted, but I was keeping a 6:15 mile pace until the last mile (which was uphill). I am going to spend this coming week preparing for a 10K in Camden next Sunday.
I enjoyed a good, relaxed run over at the Haverford College track this evening. Ran my usual 3 miles + did 100 push ups & 100 sit ups and stretched afterwards. I’ll be escalating my routine this week as I prepare for my next race, the Lupus Loop 5K on Oct 30. Looking for a consistent 6:30 pace.
I took my daughter running again this evening at Haverford College. She initially said that she wanted to run 1 mile, then, no, "TWO MILES DADDY!" Off we ran. We kept a good pace for the first mile, but then her feet started hurting her - she ‘s still getting used to her Vibram five fingers (i.e., barefooted running shoes). I encouraged her to keep going, not to give up on the initial goal of two miles despite her feet hurting her. She kept at it & even fast-walked the last lap to get to her goal of two miles. I think I have a little proto-marathoner here :-D
When I first began my fitness odyssey several years ago, one of the first things that I did was to sign up for a 5K race. I did not expect to win or (at that time) even finish it, but it did give me the impetus and urgency to start working towards this milestone/goal in my fitness. It meant that on that day, I was going to strap on a number and actually have to propel my (then-overweight) self as part of a community of runners - not just by myself on the trail or treadmill.
That first race was exhilarating. While few words are exchanged at the starting line, there is abundant energy in the air, a shared anticipation, and mutual respect. There are people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Someone is dressed as a ballerina, another in a banana costume. Many wear tributes to their loved ones who have died of cancer or AIDS, or to a father or mother who passed away. People run for all reasons.
You wonder whether you are ready. You stretch. Your heart beats fast as the adrenaline starts flowing - and then you’re off. The sound of a thousand soft hammering footsteps.
I was out of breath in the first mile because I had gotten off the starting line too quickly. People started passing me and I had to slow down and walk. I felt embarrassed but decided to re-channel that thought productively into re-starting the motor and getting underway again. A friend of mine whose son is a distance runner always coached me to breathe from my stomach, not my chest - once underway again, that is what I did.
By the second mile, I had found my stride and was no longer huffing and puffing along. I was doing it. My legs hurt, my feet hurt, but I had found the energy inside of me to make it all work. I was going to finish. I could already envision the finish line. Indeed, I managed to muster a sprint at the end of the race and crossed the line with a ballooning sense of euphoria (albeit doused by an overwhelming sense of nausea and the feeling that my internal organs were going on strike, all at once!)
Finishing a running race for the first time was the most amazing high one can feel - and I still marvel at the fact that whether it’s a 5k, half-marathon, or most recently a full marathon, that euphoria - a heightened sense of living - is there waiting for you there at the finish line.
I had to travel from Philadelphia to Chicago this morning, inaugurating the start of what will be a very hectic month of work. Despite a very busy schedule today, I managed to get in a 2.5 mile treadmill run when I arrived at the hotel & plan to run another 2.5-3 miles later this evening after my meetings are complete. I also did 100 push-ups in the 4-5pm break I had this afternoon. Just became I’m busy, I don’t use that as an excuse not to exercise. And the sense of mental clarity and relaxation I’ve had all day (after my run) is a great reward in exchange for my discipline.
Congratulations to Meb Keflezighi, who won his third San Jose half marathon victory today! His time was 1:02:17.
Running by yourself is good - but running with your 7-year old daughter is great. Today the two of us went for a 1.5 mile run over at the local track. Initially, it was difficult to get her motivated (vs. playing with her dolls and video games), but once she got over there & started running, she started loving it - skipping along, sprinting, then walking, & then sprinting again. There was another father and his two daughters and the track too, which helped. At the end of our workout, she told me she was looking forward to our next run. Mission accomplished :-D
I went for a 7-mile run this afternoon on the nature trail at Haverford College. While I am already missing the beautiful views of Mammoth Lakes, it’s nice to be back home & back on my favorite running trail. This is also a great time of year on the East Coast - it is starting to become cooler and the leaves are starting to change from summer’s green to Fall’s explosive yellows and reds.
Unlike summer, the College is alive with activity. There was a women’s soccer game and men’s lacrosse. During my run today, I tried to keep pace with the some of the men’s cross country team doing their training - that lasted about a quarter mile before they disappeared. Next weekend is the Chicago marathon. I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. It’s my first full-length marathon.
I tried to run the Chicago marathon 2 years ago & didn’t finish. The main reason was that I had competed in the Baltimore half marathon the day before. In retrospect, probably a bit too much running for a single weekend! After having run 13.1 miles on Saturday, then flying to Chicago, I made it about 15 miles into the Chicago race before my legs just completely froze & I just ended up walking back to the hotel, eating two hamburgers & passing out. I wonder sometimes whether it is a realistic goal to eventually run an ultra-marathon (defined as any race longer than 50 miles). I’ll let you know after next Sunday.